Herman Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener

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Christopher Gonzalez (Ohio State University)

After the financial and critical failure of his novels Moby-Dick (1851), Pierre (1852) and Israel Potter (1855), Herman Melville turned to writing stories and novellas. The first result was his pair of stories “The Paradise of Batchelors” and “The Tartarus of Maids” (1855) which offer brilliant satirical allegories on industrialisation, sexual social segregation, the paper industry and the hopelessness of writing. He then produced the novella “Bartleby, the Scrivener” — subtitled “A Story of Wall-Street” — which was serialised in Putnam’s Monthly Magazine in 1853 and then included in The Piazza Tales in 1856. “Bartleby” is tale which continues and extends the …

2212 words

Citation: Gonzalez, Christopher. "Bartleby the Scrivener". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 February 2009 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6453, accessed 06 February 2023.]

6453 Bartleby the Scrivener 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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